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Synopsis

Amid the social turmoil of the 1960s and ,70s, a young man in California found his purpose in the rise of the Black Panther Party, made a deadly mistake that cost him his freedom, and ultimately got his life back, having learned the true lessons of the Buddha Samurai.

By the time Flores Forbes was twenty-five years old, he had just a GED and sixty college credits to his name. But he had gone far in his chosen profession as a revolutionary. In 1977, Forbes had been in the Black Panther Party for almost a decade and had become the youngest member of the organization's central committee. In this remarkable memoir, Forbes vividly describes his transformation from an angry youth into a powerful partisan in the ranks of the black liberation movement. Disillusioned in high school by the racism in his native San Diego, he began reading Black Panther literature. Drawn to the Panthers' mission of organizing resistance to police brutality, he eagerly joined and soon found himself immersed in a culture of Mao-inspired rigor. His dedication ultimately earned him a place in the Party's elite inner circle as assistant chief of staff, charged with heading up the "fold" -- the heavily armed military branch dubbed by Huey P. Newton the "Buddha Samurai." "My job was one of the most secretive in the party," writes Forbes, "and to this day most of the people who were in the Party over the years had not a clue as to what I really did..."

With intimate portraits of such BPP leaders as Elaine Brown, Eldridge Cleaver, and Huey P. Newton, Will You Die with Me? is a riveting firsthand look at some of the most dramatic events of the last century and a brutally honest tale of one man's journey from rage to redemption.

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